Swarming the NFL: AI Picks for Week 1

With cool, fall-like temperatures spreading across the eastern half of the country, the stage is set for the kickoff of the 2017 NFL football season. This season will have a fairly high bar to clear if it wants to beat the sheer excitement of the thrilling ending of the 2016 campaign with the historic Patriots comeback in Super Bowl. The NFL rarely disappoints for conflict and drama, though, so researchers at Unanimous A. I. are eager to get things rolling with the first NFL prediction swarm of the season.

Before we cover the predictions themselves,  it’s worth discussing how the NFL Swarm made its predictions. The Unanimous research team brought together 50 football fans on Wednesday and asked them to predict all 15 games on the schedule. The swarm made predictions for both straight up winners in each game, and the winner against the point spread. Our Swarm AI platform allows this group of fans to combine their wisdom, experience and intuition to converge on the picks that the swarm can best agree on. Naturally, because this is the first week of the season, the Swarm is working with incomplete information, so it’s  important to remember not only which team was picked, but also the relative confidence in that selection.

Of course, many football fans are even more interested in which team will win against the spread, which is the clearest way to discuss NFL favorites and underdogs. So we also asked our NFL Swarm to make prediction against the spread, and further to assign a hypothetical betting amount as a further measure of how confident (or not) it felt about that point spread pick. This chart shows all of the Swarm’s pick against the spread. Click anywhere to see replays.

At this point in the season, the Swarm is forced to base their predictions on a combination of old data (how teams performed in 2016) and flawed data, namely performances from the exhibition season that are likely to be wildly misleading. Despite that, the Swarm’s picks on three games Against the Spread are worth calling out for the high confidence displayed by the group.

First up is the contest between the Falcons and Bears in Chicago on Sunday. The 81% Brainpower number gives some pause. How could an 81% game carry a lot of confidence? There are a couple of reasons. First, look at the replay above. The swarm is fairly confident that Atlanta will cover the seven points, and the real debate is a split on confidence. With that said, however, the swarm then backed that up with a reasonably high $60 bet confidence on the pick against the spread. And then the swarm added a final layer of confidence by making this game their pick of the week. All of that provided enough evidence of high confidence for Unanimous to put this at the top of the Week One list.

There’s a lot to like about the second-highest choice on our ATS chart this week. The brainpower in the matchup between Carolina and the Niners in San Francisco is reasonably high. As we saw with the Falcons prediction, the dissension is largely a split over confidence. Once again we have a moderately strong $60 bet confidence assertion to back the prediction. The one hesitation the Unanimous research team has on this game is how quickly the swarm eliminated it when considering a pick of the week.

Unanimous AI is offering $25 to the highest performing member of every NFL Swarm! Think you have what it takes to win the cash? Sign up for our newsletter below and join our twice-weekly Swarms. 

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